Have you tried doing a Whole30? If you're like me, you'll have found, or are currently finding out, that some of the harder parts of a Whole30 are navigating what to do in social situations. Parties, tailgates, back to school, all these events that happen around this time of year can make being on a Whole30 sound like a daunting task, and a serious test of willpower. But like everyone who has finished a Whole30 says, over and over again, it's really about preparing yourself for success in these situations.
First off, let's change the mindset when approaching social situations and dinner parties. Just because you're limiting your choices to real, nutrient dense foods, doesn't mean that it can't be fun. Real food is good, and real food is fun. Once you get in the kitchen and have a little bit of time to experiment, you'll be creating exciting new dishes all the time. Just start with the basics, and mix and match fats, spices, seasonings, and toppings to create a plethora of new options, that you might not have considered before.
If you feel stuck, or feel like you're struggling with "what do I make now?!" when you feel like you've exhausted all of your options, try picking one from each of these lists to help create an easy dish.
2. Fat: (find all of our favorites here)
3. Seasoning: (find all of our favorites here)
4. Optional topping:
Now let's try an example. I have carrots on hand, so I pick carrots, brown butter ghee sounds perfect for carrots so I'll go with that. I love Paleo Powder's spice so I'll pick that for my seasoning, and I think our Spicy Cocktail blend nuts would be delicious with the spice of Paleo Powder so I'll choose that for my optional topping. Next it's time to put our plan into action. Simply sauté or roast your veggie of choice in your fat of choice, with your seasoning on top, then serve with your toppings. Try making these lists with the compliant ingredients you have on hand or that you're stocking up for your Whole30 with, then try this method at home on your own. Top with your favorite protein and you've got an easy meal. You can find our favorite Whole30 Approved fats, seasonings, nuts, and all kinds of other goodness, right here.
Recently we were having friends over for dinner and I wanted to keep it Whole30 without sacrificing a gorgeous dish, so I opted for a full on roasted veggie platter. I received this gorgeous baby vegetable produce pack in the mail from Melissa's Produce which contained SO many different types of vegetables, that I figured this would be an awesome way to serve a variety of delicious Whole30 food, without having to do lots of separate prep work.
I started with raw veggies- carrots, onion, squash, zucchini, beets, and cauliflower.
I chopped them all separately, covered each in a drizzle of fat, then used a variety of seasonings, alternating so each was flavored slightly different than the others. For example, I used some Adobo on my squash, some Spice Cave Wind on my beets, Pure India Foods Turmeric on my cauliflower, and just some good, Real Salt on my zucchini.
I roasted them all on the same pan for about 25-30 minutes at 425, flipping halfway through.
While they were cooking, I sautéed some sweet red peppers on the stovetop in my cast iron skillet until soft. I added about 2 cups of peppers, then when softened, blended them with a handful or two of pecans, a pinch of salt and garlic, and a drizzle of olive oil to create a yummy Whole30 red pepper pecan pesto for topping the veggies.
We grilled some gorgeous steaks for dinner, so when it was time to eat, I just placed some serving tongs by the veggie tray, then we all grabbed a plate and made our own delicious plate.
What's even better, is if you can make lots of extra, this type of food makes for great leftovers. We had a little bit remaining after our dinner, so the next day we made some ground chicken thigh burgers, seasoning with Paleo Powder, that we topped with the pesto and served on top of the veggies.
Come gather around the warm glow of the fire and listen, watch, share, discover, and be inspired by the conversation. It is here where we explore stories, and new ideas. Pull up a rock.